In separate Connecticut Senate and House proposals, Newtown’s legislative delegation — Senator Tony Hwang and Representatives Mitch Bolinsky, J.P. Sredzinski, and Dan Carter — is proposing changes to a statute that currently permits developers to circumvent local zoning restrictions on residential projects if the community does not currently conform to Connecticut’s ten percent threshold under affordable housing requirements. On February 5, Newtown’s Director of Planning George Benson joined lawmakers testifying at a public hearing of the legislature’s Housing Committee on proposed bills related to 8-30g. The hearing was conducted at the New Haven Aldermanic Chamber.
As hundreds, or perhaps thousands of Newtown residents who may be affected by the Anthem data breach continue to receive updated information and enhanced consumer support, lawmakers in Hartford this week proposed legislation mandating that state insurance providers encrypt social security information and other client details in their massive databases. A reported data breach may have compromised personal information of its current and former customers across the state, and millions of Anthem customers across the country. The Indiana-based health insurer released information last week on the data breach indicating that hackers had breached its computer system. The personal information of tens of millions of current and former enrollees and employees across the country is possibly at risk. Anthem customers who have been affected by this breach can begin signing up today for two years of credit monitoring and identity theft protections services, which the insurance company will cover the costs of for two years.
The release of a draft report of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has come one day ahead of a meeting where the panel was scheduled to vote on its formal release. The executive summary of the 250-plus page document, which uses the initials A.L. to refer to perpetrator Adam Lanza, identifies several other documents already released that relate exhaustive details about the incident and the parties involved. Among the key findings and recommendations in the draft is the suggestion that the state develop a comprehensive statewide plan for effectively responding to large-scale school crisis events that includes educational and behavioral health agencies. The report has already produced reactions from members of Connecticut’s legislative delegation in Washington.
About a year ago, on the heels of a $15 million gift to Newtown from General Electric, the Board of Selectmen appointed an advisory committee to look into the scope, logistics, cost, and future usage potentials of a community center that would be developed and operated through that generous donation. Committee leaders Robert Geckle and Andrew Clure recently reported their findings to the Boards of Selectmen and Finance. On February 5, during the presentation to selectmen, Mr Geckle said the committee set about determining to the best of their abilities without defined architectural plans, “what a community center looks like.” The volunteers focused on what is described as the Phase One aspect of a plan that will utilize the GE grant to build and staff a standalone senior center, as well as an aquatic facility on a parcel adjacent to the NYA Sports & Fitness complex at Fairfield Hills.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is next scheduled to meet on Friday, February 13 at 9:30 am in the hearing room 1B of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. The group plans to continue its discussion regarding the relevant issue areas that will be incorporated into its final report, including mental health/mental wellness, law enforcement, and safe school design and operation.
A US District Court judge on Thursday, February 12, sentenced a Venezuelan man to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of probation, for making threatening phone calls to residents of Newtown shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting tragedy in December 2012. Judge Michael P. Shea issued that sentence to Wilfrido A. Cardenas Hoffman, 31, of El Hatillo, Venezuela.
The long-duration snowstorm on Monday, February 9, dropped several inches of snow on Newtown. It was less snow accumulation than in some other parts of the state, but it was enough snow to cancel school for the day. Fred Hurley, town director of public works, said, “We were very fortunate,” noting that worse weather, in the form of icing conditions, occurred in southern sections of Fairfield County. It was a snowy Monday for the second week in a row, in fact. Another three-day weekend for students and faculty of Newtown’s schools, as well as for a number of residents. Some opted to work from home, or just had to stay home due to road conditions. More snow may be on the way within the next few days.
(AP) The family of a 12/14 victim has applied to trademark her name in an attempt to stop others from misusing it on social media. Victoria Soto was one of the teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the shootings there 26 months ago.
What started as a projected savings of around $925,000 ballooned to more than $1 million on January 29, as Newtown refunded or refinanced 16 of its general obligation bonds. According to documentation provided by Newtown Finance Director Robert Tait, the total savings generated to offset debt service costs for local taxpayers is $1,013,258.22 to be precise. Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze said the latest refunding windfall is the result of many volunteers and government officials pulling together to create, enhance, and stick to well-documented financial policies and practices in recent years, which also yielded the community its first AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s in 2014.